At present there are over 90 desert in the world that holds the 33% or 1/3rd of the land area of the earth. Desert is basically divided into two types, polar desert and non-polar desert. The deserts with annual perception less than 250 millimeters and temperature less than 10°C during the warmest month are called polar-desert and rest are known as non-polar desert. That’s why Antarctica is also a desert. Following is the list of ten most popular deserts in the world.
Antarctica is basically a continent but geologist declared it the world largest cold desert. The strange thing about Antarctica is that its population is zero. Only 5,000 temporary researchers are living here for research purpose. The total area of Antarctica is 14 million square kilometers or 5.4 million square miles that is nearly as twice the size of Australia. 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that is 1.9 kilometers in thickness.
Next most popular desert of the world is the Sahara desert. Total area of the Sahara is 9.4 million square kilometer or 3.6 million square mile and it is the third largest desert after Antarctica and the Arctic. Every year million of tourist visits the Sahara desert. World toughest and extraordinary footrace on earth named “Marathon des Sables” is conduct here every year and thousands of tourist and athletes participates in this marathon.
3. Kalahari Desert
Next most popular desert of the world is a large semi-arid sandy desert that is Kalahari Desert. Most area of the Kalahari has covered the Botswana, some parts of Namibia, and South Africa. Kalahari is a best desert to visit. Most of the desert species are founds here. In fact, it supports more animals and plants species than any other desert. In summer, temperature remains high and rainfall is often happened here. The area of Kalahari is 900,000 square kilometers or 350,000 square mile.
4. Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert is the largest desert in Asia that covers the northern and northwestern China, and southern Mongolia. The desert is surrounded by the Altai Mountains, steppes of Mongolia, Taklimakan Desert, Hexi Corridor, Tibetan Plateau, and North China Plain. It is one of the most popular deserts of the world and known for the great Mongol Empire and attachment of Silk Road. Area of the desert is 1.295 million square kilometers or 500,000 square miles.
5. Namib Desert
Namib Desert is a coastal desert located in Southern Africa. Saying this will not be wrong that it is a largest beach. Over 2,000 kilometers area of the Namib Desert is along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa. In southern direction it also touches the neighboring Kalahari Desert. This wonderful desert contains the sand seas near the coast, scattered mountain, and gravel plains. Temperature along the coast remains between range of 9-20°C and inland it remains variable and can exceed 45°C as well. However, nights can be freezing.
6. Arabian Desert
Arabian Desert is also known as Arabi Desert. This vast desert is spread across the Yemen to Persian Gulf, and Oman to Jordan and Iraq. Most of the Arabian belt is covered by the Arabian Desert. The area of this desert is 2.3 million square kilometers or 900,000 square mile. The climate remains mostly dry. This desert is the house of different cultures, languages and peoples. Every year cars and jeep rallies are arranged in the different parts of the desert.
7. Black Rock Desert
It is one of the most beautiful and popular desert of the world that is situated in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, Nevada. The total area of the desert is just 2,600 square kilometer or 1,000 square mile. It contains more than 120 mile of historic trails. The life on this desert were started 11,000 BC. Black Rock Desert is most popular for being the place of Burning Man – a yearly weeklong event that sees the construction of Black Rock City.
8. Great Basin Desert
It is the largest US desert and a cold winter desert that holds the 490,000 square kilometer or 190,000 squares miles of the land. On the east direction, it is surrounded with the rocky mountains and in north it reaches the Sonoran deserts. Average rain in the desert is annually seven to twelve inches. It is most popular and attractive for its drainage system, its precipitation is closed in the region and doesn’t allow it to merge in the sea. The Great Salt Lake is also present in Great Basin Desert.
9. Thar Desert
Thar Desert also known as the Great Indian Desert. It is a large desert in the Indian subcontinent that consists the most of the parts of India and Pakistan. It is the 17th largest desert and 9th largest subtropical desert of the world. 85% of the Thar Desert is in India and the remaining 15% is in Pakistan. Total area of the desert is 320,000 square kilometers or 120,000 square miles. It is a dry desert. In India it covers the Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Gujarat and in Pakistan it covers the some parts of Sindh and Punjab.
10. Atacama Desert
Atacama Desert is in fact a plateau in South America that covers the 1,000 kilometer or 600 mile strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. Atacama Desert is a non-polar desert and the driest non-polar desert of the world. Total area of the desert is 105,000 square kilometers or 40,541 square miles. Most of the areas contains stony terrain, salt lakes, sand, and felsic lava that flows towards the Andes.
Note: This list is based on the research of Wikipedia, www.travellerspoint.com, and www.matadornetwork.com